It’s no secret what the global COVID-19 pandemic is doing to businesses across the world. The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on small businesses especially, impacting everything from sales to staffing. With so many small businesses having to change their business models just to survive, surely marketing efforts should go on the back burner, right?
In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Like you, your customers are adjusting to a new normal.
“a lack of knowledge about how your business is adapting could mean you get forgotten”
To cease your marketing efforts—whether it’s advertising, social media, newsletters, or any other form of business communications you usually do is to miss an opportunity to educate your customers about your new operations.
As customers are changing their daily lives and consumption habits, a lack of knowledge about how your business is adapting could mean you get forgotten. It’s crucial that you proactively educate your customers on the best way to support your business, so you can keep delivering to your community even during uncertain times.
Be the Example
You are doing a ton of extra work to meet the challenges of the coronavirus daily—your customers should be the first to know about these changes.
This is a prime opportunity to showcase that you are not only looking to keep your business afloat, but that you are a concerned part of the community that is taking your customers’ health seriously.
So what should you do…
Are you deploying new cleanliness and sanitation protocols and practices? Make a couple of short videos (really short—10 to 30 seconds is ideal!) and capture a few photos showing the new sanitary wipes station, new shipment of masks, or new safe distance settings in your building that support CDC-recommended COVID-19 strategies.
It’s Not Business As Usual, But…
“74 percent are buying more food and beverages; personal care item sales are up 50 percent, and household cleaning item sales are seeing a 47-percent increase.”
Nobody expects that any business right now will be operating under normal circumstances, but what you need to fight is the perception that you’re not operating at all.
Research from Suzy.com, an on-demand consumer insights platform, showed how some consumer trends are shifting during the coronavirus shelter-in-place. Huge increases in purchasing are being seen in “survival” products: 74 percent are buying more food and beverages; personal care item sales are up 50 percent, and household cleaning item sales are seeing a 47-percent increase. If your business is supported by the sale of any of these things, you cannot afford to risk losing out to big-box online delivery companies.
Make it clear to your customers that you are indeed open for business and that you have what they’re looking for—and you are delivering it in a safe, sanitary way.
Post social media photos of customers doing business with you; showing is better than telling.
Remember: Your customers are rebuilding their whole consumer routine. Most are limiting shopping trips to once or twice a week. Once your customers begin to see that you are doing everything you can to keep operations running, they will find ways to work your business back into their routines.
Make and Promote an FAQ Page
Your customers and clients are looking for answers and normalcy. Under the conditions of the pandemic, normalcy is going to be hard to come by—but you can provide answers!
Let them know what you’re doing and how you’re doing it so they can continue to support you. A great way to accomplish this is with an FAQ page on your website, frequently shared on your social media and other marketing avenues. Be sure to include actionable topics, so your customers can follow through once they have the answers. Some ideas include:
- Hours and days of operation (especially if you’ve changed them)
- Show you are sanitary and safe
- Let customers know whether or not you have a pick-up or delivery service
- How to support your business in other ways (gift certificates, for example)
It’s understandable that many small businesses might consider radio silence during this uncertain time. The first thing most business owners will notice is the decrease in foot traffic, sales, and revenue, which directly impacts the entire operational budget. But by focusing on your communication and marketing efforts to educate your clientele, you can retrain your customers how to support you during the coronavirus quarantine instead of forgetting about you.
You can be a part of the new normal, instead of a victim to it.